When it comes to doing a thorough cleaning, there are the “usual suspects”: getting rid of old clothes and magazines, organizing the pantry, cleaning the yard and getting the garden ready to plant. But there’s one item that many people don’t think about when it comes to deep cleaning—unused, unwanted cans of paint.
Not only do cans of paint clutter a basement, garage or crawl space, these areas are susceptible to moisture that can cause cans to become rusty or leaky. It’s important to properly dispose of unused paint-especially if you have completed any home improvement projects in the past year.
Before you get rid of your paint, however, it’s wise to create a paint list to keep in your files. Include the brand name, paint color or number, and the name of the room where that paint was used. Then, you can reference this list when you need to do a touch-up or when you’re looking to repaint.
Next, think about using up leftover paint for another project. Instead of buying new paint, simply use some paint you may already have. Looking to give an old rocking chair or dresser a makeover so it looks fresh and new? Use up paint from a recent bedroom or bathroom makeover.
If repurposing leftover paint in creative ways isn’t up your alley, there’s a way to recycle and properly dispose of unused paint: Take it to a PaintCare drop-off site. PaintCare is the paint recycling program that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to drop off their unwanted paint for recycling at no additional cost at over 170 participating locations in Colorado.
Drop-off sites are conveniently located at paint and hardware stores and accept all paint brands, regardless of when or at which store in Colorado it was purchased. Items that can be dropped off for recycling include most house paints, primers, stains, sealers, and clear top coatings (varnish and shellac). Drop-off is available year-round during each retail location’s regular business hours.
PaintCare then works with partners to transport the collected paint from the drop-off sites to processing facilities, where it’s remixed into recycled-content paint, given away through local reuse programs, used as fuel, or used in other products and applications. If it can’t be recycled or used some other way, it will be dried out and properly disposed of.
When you need to buy paint for a project in the future, make sure you buy the right amount to minimize leftover paint. Then, you won’t need to worry about using up or recycling the rest. To do this, give the representatives at your paint store the dimensions of the room you’re painting. They should be able to tell you how much you’ll need, depending on the type of coating and the desired outcome. You can also use an online paint calculator to help determine how much paint you need to get. The next time you think about storing or throwing away unwanted paint, think again…and recycle it! For more information and to find a drop-off site near you, visit www.paintcare.org.
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